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Showing posts from November, 2011

A joyful time

When"Christmas Markets" open in Germany, we know that Christmas is really next door, they begin with the first "Advent" a traditional celebration in Germany that marks the beginning of the build-up to the celebration of the birth of Christ. These four weeks leading to Christmas are a joyful time in German society.
Christmas Markets as far as I know began in the city of Dresden in 1434 and today are part of the celebration of this special season, and when I visit one I always look for the nativity scene which normally is a central feature in the market, it reminds us the true meaning of the celebration.
Today I took a couple pictures when we walked through including this one of "Nutcrackers"

Spring in Winter

The other day I took the time to walk by a lake, it was a glorious day, the air was fresh and clean, the water was calm, the trees were serene, the light was bright and clear, it felt like a spring day to me, yet it was the winter season. 
I took my jacket for a while and enjoyed the scenery and the mild sunshine and as I was walking I thought to myself that in the course of life, at times we go through difficult moments, but even then, when we stay close to the principles we know to be true, and remain faithful to them, we will see in our lives spring days during our winter seasons!

As I reviewed the teachings of last General Conference I thought of the the following counsel as I reflected upon this matter:

"If we, like President Monson, exercise our faith and look to God for help, we will not be overwhelmed with the burdens of life" - Elder Carl B. Cook.

"It is essential that we are able to face - with courage - whatever challenges come our way"President Monson

Sense of accomplishment

Our daughter Ana just got her first job. Last time I spoke with her, was after several hours of work, she was tired but happy. 
In day to day language we refer to work as the effort exercised to achieve or complete a certain task and I can see at least two important values of work which I would like to briefly consider here today.
Do you remember your first pay check?, your first salary? or the first income earned with your project?. Ohh...there is satisfaction in that reward, this is a lesson worth being reminded of; that there is value in earning through honest and hard work the rewards of our efforts, this is important because it means in practical terms, we can earn to provide for our needs and needs of our families. 
I am aware that many want to find a job and can not always find it in today's economic climate and for this reason I would like to touch basis on another value of work that goes well beyond the financial rewards of a paid job. If you are one without a job now, l…

Early Christmas

The busy and lively "Zeil", the shopping street downtown Frankfurt, is constantly in a stage of metamorphosis, from one celebration to another.

The city this year dedicated a week a month to a different culture, this week was the Japanese one; you could not miss the food stands and music performances from Japan.
What we were not expecting today in our Saturday walk downtown, was to have Christmas on the streets, not the traditional Christmas Market which will we definitively plan to enjoy latter this year, but the street performers that decided to arrive before everyone else. They installed themselves in front of a large department store full of ginger bread houses in display and began to sing Christmas songs to us not in December but in November!

Link: The real meaning of Christmas

Do you really know how to do that?

This winter in Europe the trend for clothing and other accessories is knitting, it is all over in display at the most popular stores in Germany. 
This was something we use to see when we were in our teens, the only difference then is, that it was produced by our mothers and grandmothers, today they are made most likely somewhere in a factory in Asia.
In a walk downtown Frankfurt, Germany the other day my wife said, "I would like to stop to buy some knitting needles and some wool, I would like to knit a scarf", with a surprised expression I said, "do you know how to do that?" She replied in a mild tone, "my mom did, and my grandmother as well, and they taught me when I was young", to which I then somewhat unconvinced I said, "OK... why not!"
For next couple of days I saw her knitting at a fast pace and things began quickly to take shape and form, first a base for some plates, next a couple of flowers, then a trendy scarf just like to one we saw …